Work, School, and Faith: An impossible balancing act?

The last few days i have been reflecting on the impossibility of finding a balance in life between work, school, and faith.
As i was watching Jay Leno, yes it comes on tv in Switzerland from time to time, Jamie Lee Curtis made the comment that her 5 year old son was very upset with her because “she had never explained to him this human race that he was a part of, but did not know how to win”. She went on to talk about how it took her forever to convince him that there was a human race, but not actually a race that all humans were in. Was she right? Doesn’t look like it to me…
This weekend i was with a group of about 100 students on a retreat in France. We were looking at the story of the Prodigal son, and particularly, from my session these three points: love gives us responsibility even when we are not ready for it, love trusts us to make good decisions with our responsibility even when people make bad ones all the time, love doesn’t keep us from hurting ourselves or others in the outworking of our responsibilities.
At the end of the talk, a couple of students came up to me and wanted to talk about the pressue they felt from school, and the expectations they experienced in making the grade. They understood that they had been entrusted to make good grades by their parents, and that the rest of their lives depended on making good grades…now! They then went on to study for four+ hours on Saturday afternoon while many of their friends played futbol for the next 3 hours. Many of the students, had to be pulled away from their books in order to eat dinner. Two of the students who talked to me were 14 and 15….and they did not have tests for another couple of weeks. Was the pressure to make the grade too much?
Yesterday, in our staff meeting, we found ourselves discussing how members of team were struggling with knowing when to be “on” and when to be “off”. The life-job relationship always seems to get blurred when you are a person who professionally cares for people. When are your friendships friendships? When are they caring? When is going to the movies with friends a relaxing thing? When is it a job thing? When is it ok to say no to some friends, and yes to others….and what if the people you work with, become the people you find yourself investing the most in…..
It seems as though for many, the quest for finding a balance of life is becoming a tension. Work, school, faith (or you put in your category) all conflict with a vision for a life well lived. They all seem, at least in the lives of the people around me, to resist the simple act of compartmentalization.

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